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Begin at North River Road Park, or Bakers Field Park.  Get into the Black River easily by using the ADA accessible kayak launch.  Head downriver, and then up the Canal to the left, heading east.  Enter Lake Huron after passing under the Taintor Gate.  Head straight out into Lake Huron until you clear the sandbars, then turn south toward the bridges. Then paddle under the Blue Water Bridges, along the international border with Canada while in the St. Clair River. Beware of fishing lines near the seawall, and stay on the U.S. side of the river!

Up the Canal, toward Lake Huron
Up the Canal, toward Lake Huron

 Enter the mouth of the Black River to the west, through the City of Port Huron, and back to North River Road Park.  You can also begin and end at Bakers Field Park in Port Huron Township.  They also have an ADA accessible kayak launch!

National Park Service National Water Trail
National Park Service

The Taintor Gate at the canal closes automatically when there is a strong N-NE wind. It is open 96% of the time!  Closure protects the canal from getting filled up with silt and sand from the lake.  Boaters, check to see if the gate is open before attempting the Island Loop. The only way to check the gate is to drive by it on Gratiot road to see if it is open.

Most of the waterways along this route are calm and slow, except near the Blue Water Bridges.  This route is best attempted in the morning, before weekend recreational boating traffic creates rough water conditions under the Blue Water Bridges.  The section under the Blue Water Bridges should only be attempted by experienced paddlers on a calm day.

Wear your Life Jacket (PFD) at all times! Have your ID with you, as the waters are patrolled by Border Patrol Agents and they can stop you at anytime and you must prove your citizenship!

Level - Intermediate (due to international shipping traffic and current)

Length - 10 miles

Water Trail Map

Things To Do

Canoeing,Community Events & Festivals,Fishing,Freighter Watching,Kayaking,Kite Boarding,Music and Theater Performances,Sailing,Scuba Diving,Swimming

The Island Loop Route National Water Trail Places
Boating Boating
Education Education
Emergency Emergency
International Border Crossing International Border Crossing
Lighthouse Lighthouse
Maritime History Maritime History
Museum Museum
Natural Area or Preserve Natural Area or Preserve
Outfitter Outfitter
Scenic View Area Scenic View Area
Water Access Water Access